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Fiji Time: 7:17 PM on Wednesday 16 April

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Koto, Vakacegu secure England club deals

RODNEY DUTHIE
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

FLYING Fijians hooker Sunia Koto and Suva rugby rep Marika Vakacegu are the latest to be shipped to England to play club rugby.

Koto, who was rated among the five best rakes in the world after a successful outing at the Rugby World Cup in France, joins London Welsh.

Having 20 caps under his belt for Fiji, Koto played in Fiji's 37-20 World Cup quarter-final defeat by South Africa.

Koto joins fellow Fiji international Wame Lewaravu at London Welsh.

Vakacegu joins Birmingham and Solihull in the National Division One competition.

Featuring prominently for Suva and Highlanders, Vakacegu was identified for national duties in the Pacific Nations Cup. He fell short of securing a place in the Fiji team to the World Cup.

The club has former Fiji Under-21 rep Luke Nabaro and had the services of Fiji international, Akapusi Qera who now plays for Gloucester.

Fiji Rugby Union high performance unit manager Peter Murphy said the two players would be contracted to the clubs for six months.

He said the short stints would work in Fiji rugby's favour.

"It's good timing because we'll have them back in time for national duties," Murphy said.

A number of Fiji players have signed up contracts in Europe.

Netani Talei is a hit with Worcester after scoring a try on debut. Qera continues to impress at Gloucester while Seru Rabeni missed last week's game for Leicester because of injury. Fijian speedster Kameli Ratuvou scored a try in Saracens 22-21 loss to Biarittz.